Our current technology allows us to do so much. You can text with friends a world away or view those cute kids in Seattle that you may never see in person. You can keep up with your cousins (sort of) and you think “I should email them” every time you see and read informative articles they post. More importantly, you can also solve petty arguments over drinks with friends (FYI no one likes the smug person who looks up the answer to the question that was more fun to debate than to know the answer to. I know because I am sometimes that person.) Or you can just show your partner the shelves you want for the basement rather than trying to draw them on a post it note. You get the idea. That’s a lot of information at the touch of your fingertips, in your pocket, or in your purse. But for cripes sake, it’s your technology. OWN IT.
Here’s what I mean by own it. Just because someone calls or texts don’t feel that you have to answer immediately. Your phone should be for your convenience. For example, don’t answer your phone at the gym. You went there to work out, not chat about what you’re wearing to dinner tomorrow. I answered my phone at the gym last week. The call would have easily waited until I was finished.
Here are some other rules to help you own your technology:
- Don’t bring your phone out during meetings. You can’t be concentrating on the conversation (maybe you weren’t anyway, but now everyone will know you don’t care and aren’t listening).
- Put your phone on do not disturb when you go to bed or when you don’t want to be disturbed. I’ve got my do not disturb set automatically from 10pm to 6am to help me get a good night’s sleep.
- Don’t answer your phone when you don’t want to or don’t have time to talk. They can leave a voicemail.
- Don’t text at the table or when you’re supposed to be enjoying the company of friends and family who are right in front of you. Similarly please don’t leave your phone out on the table at dinner. It’s too tempting, you aren’t that strong.
- Don’t text and drive.
- Similarly, enter the directions of the place you want to go before you’re driving down the road. The same goes for music or podcasts. Que it up ahead of time. Find them first, then drive. It’s safer for everyone.
How to do you control technology so it doesn’t own your life?